Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu insists that the E-Levy, on the face of it, is a form of double taxation which also appears to be discriminatory as it will only apply to electronic transactions.
According to him, the money that will be subjected to the 1.75% tax by the government would be already taxed money at the time of being earned from an employer, calling it a money tax.
“In fact, its proper name is money tax. Ken Ofori-Atta is just lazily seeking to tax money. Anybody holding money and moving money must pay tax. Let anybody share with me this experience anywhere in the world. So it is money tax – when you move money, pay, when you transact business, pay,” he stated.
Addressing journalists in Parliament on Wednesday after receiving a petition from a group calling itself Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG), Mr. Iddrisu said “What Ghanaians must be prepared to accept painfully is that the cumulative incidents of an electronic money transfer is 3.75% and not 1.75%.”
“There is an existing 1% and a back-off-cash-out1%. Even though there was no universality because Voda Cash, because of promotional purposes, was zero.”
Those of you who know arithmetic like the Hon Ato Forson. When the Minister of Finance says that the telcos have agreed to reduce their share by 0.25%, so those were zero, is there a minus 0.25% from their zero?” he quizzed.
The Tamale South MP thanked members of MMAAG for their courage to share where they stand on the E-Levy which he said would affect the nation’s quest for a digital economy, but “on a matter that affects your livelihood and employment and affects many others outside who have no voices to reach out to parliament and to share the views to parliament.”
“I am inspired further reading your text when I see the words, particularly page three which you say ‘this we know will impact us also’ as agents.”
“As you express it, it is not just Mobile Money Agents, the fintech institutions, merchants, electronic money ecosystem will stand to lose with the insensitivity of the Nana Akufo-Addo government,” he posited.
“I have heard very interesting stories in the last one week. And one which beats my imagination is to hear Ministers of Finance and Information and Members of Parliament of the NPP say without any shame that they allow us to raise revenue to build infrastructure.”
When the NDC under John Dramani Mahama initiated those VATs on financial services, was it to raise stones? It was to raise revenue for the purpose of development,” the Minority asserted.
“But all of a sudden, it is as if it is only them who know that revenue is used for infrastructure development. And now the argument has even shifted because the NDC thinks if they get the money they will develop Ghana,” he stated further.
He pledged the commitment of the Minority Caucus to convey the concerns of the petitioners to the bill and the debate to the bill.
General Secretary of MMAAG, Evans Otumfuo said as main capital investors in this digital finance, “we are much concerned about the intended astronomical rate of 1.75% proposed by the government through the Hon. Finance Minister on November 17, 2021.”
He stated that in recent years as a result of Mobile Money, more businesses had risen and become the main driver of the economic activities in the country.
“The presence of digital finance has created and continues to create millions of employment through the establishment of medium and small scale enterprises. Classical is the recent spike in the e-commerce industry and its activities as a result of Mobile Money,” he asserted.
“As a Union, after a careful assessment and review of the budget statement and economic policies for the year ending December 31, 2022, and the aspects that concern our operations have left us in shock and felt that the Government could look at it again,” he submitted.